The ocean, seas and coasts, as well as the ecosystem services these environments provide, are important drivers of the European Economy. The established blue economy sectors, including living and non-living marine resources, marine renewable energy, port activities, shipbuilding and repair, maritime transport and coastal tourism, directly employed 5 million people and generated a gross added value of 218 billion in 2018. The blue economy also has a great potential for growth, with the established sectors growing 12% in employment and 15% in gross added value from 2017 to 2018, while emerging sectors like ocean energy, blue bioeconomy and biotechnology, desalination, submarine cables and marine minerals and defence, foster innovation.
The Blue Growth Strategy was a long-term strategy from the European Commission to harness this potential, and support smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the marine and maritime economic sectors, creating both jobs and value. As part of this strategy, the BlueInvest platform, enabled by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), aims to boost innovation and investment in sustainable technologies for the blue economy by supporting early-stage businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises and scale-ups. This week (24th of November 2020), the Blue Economy Window virtual info day informed SME’s from across the European Union on how to apply for EMFF BlueInvest grants 2020 with a budget 20 million euro.
The European Commission is currently developing a new roadmap for a more sustainable blue economy, in line with the European Green Deal. The goal is to aid economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle climate change, through sustainable and innovative solutions that can foster job creation while reducing environmental impact. This will build on the BlueInvest initiative.
To monitor the growth in the Blue Economy, the European Commission has developed a Blue Indicator Dashboard. The map of the week shows the employment in the Blue Economy as a percentage of the overall active population. Click on a country of interest, to learn how employment is distributed over the different established Blue Economy sectors and how employment in the Blue Economy has changed over time.
The data in this map were provided by DG MARE.